By Hellen Nsokolo
Just like Potius Pilate washed his hands on Jesus Christ, the ruling Patriotic Front has distance itself from selling Black Mountain to foreigners saying it is the Movement for Multiparty Democracy(MMD) that gave up the huge dump slag, leaving many residents in the cold.
Nkana Member of Parliament Alexander Chiteme who had a torrid time explaining Nkana Alloy take over of Black Mountain said it was MMD that was on rampage selling mines that gave up the slag dump.
He said the MMD sold 90% shares of the dump slag and that the PF government only inherited 10 percent shares which it gave up to the people of Copperbelt for survival means.
Chiteme, however said the 10% shares government offloaded to the residents created confusions and notorious people with selfish motives took advantage of the situation to empower their pockets.
ENRC Africa BV sold its 90% stake in Nkana Alloy to Tianjin Maolin Technology Limited while ZCCM HI has maintained its 10% shares holding. The deal between ENRC and Tianjin was concluded in February, 2014.
The mining and surface rights were transfered to Nkana Alloys.
The outspoken Nkana law maker said there was too much lawlessness because of lack of committees to represent the interest of the Copperbelt residents.
Chiteme said government has been put in awkward position by bad businessmen such that it cannot just give its shares to the residents in a disorganized environment.
” We had only 10 percent which we gave to the people but people with selfish motives started creating confusion,” Chiteme said, ” Government can’t give the 10 % shares to the public in unstable environment. There will be confusion. I am glad that Mines Minister Christopher Yaluma has started negotiations with Nkana Alloys to see how best government can use its shares to empower its people,” he said.
Chiteme said the best way is for government to give the 10 percent to the investors so that in exchange they build schools, hospitals and police stations.
He said the other alternative is for government to leave the 10% to the community on condition that they form committees to look into their interests.
On May 29, notorious copper thieves commonly known as Jerabos and police ran running battles, leaving one dead and two seriously injured.
This was when the notorious thieves, Chiteme kept on referring to as selfish individuals in his interview on Radio Phoenix, attempted to break into the premises of Nkonkola Copper Mines(KCM).
This was in protest against Government’s move only to negotiate a pantry 10% shares for them and leaving a big stake to foreigners.
Small Scale Mining Association of Zambia(SSMAZ) president Simon Njovu said government should negotiate the larger stake for the residents, saying the 10% is way too small.